"Life without line dancing and the other activities would be too dreadful to imagine": an increase in social activity for older women

J Women Aging. 2008;20(3-4):329-42. doi: 10.1080/08952840801985060.


The literature on aging is replete with the positive effects of physical exercise on the well-being of older adults. Some suggest, however, that the potential impact of social activities has not received adequate attention, and others note the importance of distinguishing between the physical and nonphysical impact of these activities. This study investigated whether line dancing, a physical activity, led to an increase in social activity. Thirty women over the age of 60 were interviewed to discover how line dancing affected them. Content analysis of the interviews helped identify various themes indicating that line dancing enabled these women to expand their repertoire of social activity, leading to positive reinforcements such as further community involvement, charitable work, inclusion in national sports events, self-expression, and personal development. The impact of line dancing plainly goes beyond the perceived physical benefits.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Dancing / psychology*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support
  • South Africa
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health*